To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Social capital as norms and resources: Focus groups discussing alcohol

The aim of this article is to analyse the relationship between peer-group social capital and the use of alcohol among young people – as this relationship is expressed in focus group interviews.

The main point to be made is that social capital affects alcohol use in two different ways: it incites some forms of drinking (‘controlled drunkenness’) while restricting others (drinking alone, drinking ‘for the wrong reason’, losing control often).

Furthermore, the idea behind this article is that social capital is both a background factor influencing participants’ relationship to alcohol and an effect of their drinking experience.

We apply Coleman's micro-oriented perspective on local network mechanisms – with a specific focus on collective norms negotiated in the focus groups – in combination with Bourdieu's definition of social capital as resources.

The data used in this article come from focus group interviews with 18–19-year-old Danes.

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Changes in self-reported drinking behaviors among US teenagers associated with the introduction of flavored malt beverages: An interrupted time series

This study sought to examine high school students’ self-reported drinking behaviors following the introduction of flavored malt beverages, also known as alcopops, to the US market.

We hypothesized that adolescents’ reported drinking behaviors would be significantly altered following the introduction of alcopops in the US.

A cross-sectional time series Youth Risk Behavior Survey data set was created from publicly available data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (
N = 60,426) and used to conduct secondary data analysis, using an interrupted time series quasi-experimental design.

Segmented regression analyses estimated how much the introduction of alcopops in the US affected drinking behaviors, whether the effects were immediate and/or delayed, and whether there may have been other factors than the intervention that could explain the effects.

Respondents aged ≥18 years had statistically significant increases in three drinking behaviors after alcopops were introduced.

Binge drinking increased significantly in the entire study population between 1997 and 2001, remaining steady in 2001–2003.

Drinking on school property increased in some groups between 2001 and 2003.

The statistically significant increases identified for some drinking behaviors and, for most behaviors, in certain population subgroups can be used to develop prevention strategies that are targeted accordingly.

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Telescoping and Gender Differences in Alcohol Dependence: New Evidence From Two National Surveys

The course of alcohol disorders in women is often described as "telescoped" compared to that in men, with a later age at initiation of alcohol use but shorter times from use to dependence and treatment. This study examined evidence for such a telescoping effect in the general population and tested birth cohort effects for gender differences.

Data from two U.S. national surveys conducted 10 years apart (1991–1992 and 2001–2002) using the same diagnostic instrument (the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule–IV) were used to analyze five birth cohorts. Age at initiation of alcohol use, time from first use to dependence, and time from dependence to first treatment were analyzed. Interaction terms (cohort by gender; cohort by gender by time) were tested in Cox proportional hazards models.

Little evidence was found for a telescoping effect in women. For alcohol use and dependence, cohort and gender interacted, which suggests that gender differences are diminished in more recent cohorts. A three-way interaction of cohort, gender, and time was significant for time from first use to dependence, suggesting that men have a shorter time to dependence, especially in younger cohorts.

A telescoping effect is not evident in the general population. Gender differences in the overall hazard of alcohol use and dependence are decreasing in more recent cohorts, while gender differences in time from first use to dependence are increasing.

These findings challenge the commonly held notion of a gender-specific course of alcohol disorders and suggest the need for a greater clinical focus on problem drinking in women and further research on accelerated time to dependence in men.

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Designing prevention programmes to reduce incidence of dementia: prospective cohort study of modifiable risk factors

To estimate the percentage reduction in incidence of dementia that would be obtained if specific risk factors were eliminated.

Prospective seven year cohort study.

General population, Montpellier, France.

1433 people aged over 65 with a mean baseline age of 72.5 (SD 5.1) years.

Diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or dementia established by a standardised neurological examination.

Cox models were constructed to derive hazard ratios and determine confounding and interaction effects for potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia. Mean percentage population attributable fractions were calculated with 95% confidence intervals derived from bootstrapping for seven year incidence of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. The final model retained crystallised intelligence (population attributable fraction 18.11%, 95% confidence interval 10.91% to 25.42%), depression (10.31%, 3.66% to 17.17%), fruit and vegetable consumption (6.46%, 0.15% to 13.06%), diabetes (4.88%, 1.87% to 7.98%), and apolipoprotein E {varepsilon}4 allele (7.11%, 2.44% to 11.98%).

Increasing crystallised intelligence and fruit and vegetable consumption and eliminating depression and diabetes are likely to have the biggest impact on reducing the incidence of dementia, outweighing even the effect of removing the principal known genetic risk factor. Although causal relations cannot be concluded with certainty, the study suggests priorities that may inform public health programmes.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Differential Patterns of Alcohol Consumption and Dopamine-2 Receptor Binding in Wistar-Kyoto and Wistar Rats

The Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat strain has been described as an animal model of depressive behavior that consumes significantly greater amounts of alcohol compared to the Wistar (WIS) rat strain.

Since the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) type-2 (D2) receptors mediate reward-related behaviors, the present study measured the binding of [125I]-Iodosulpiride to D2 receptors in the brains of WKY versus WIS rats following 24 days of voluntary alcohol or water consumption.

Alcohol consuming WKY rats showed a significant increase in D2 receptor binding in several regions of the mesolimbic and nigrostriatal systems.

In contrast, alcohol consuming WIS rats showed a reduction in D2 receptor binding in DA cell body areas.

The differential regulation of D2 receptors by voluntary alcohol consumption in the two rat strains suggests that D2 receptor mediated neurotransmission may be playing a role in the increased alcohol drinking behavior reported in WKY rats.

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The effect of alcohol and tobacco consumption, and apolipoprotein E genotype, on the age of onset in Alzheimer's disease

This study examined the association between a history of heavy alcohol use and smoking, presence of the apolipoprotein-E epsilon 4 allele (APOE 4), and age of disease onset in a community dwelling sample of 685 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients spanning three ethnic groups.

Cross-sectional study of AD patients evaluated at a University-affiliated outpatient memory disorders clinic.

A clinic-based cohort of white non-Hispanic (WNH; n = 397), white Hispanic (WH; n = 264), and African-American (AA; n = 24) patients diagnosed with possible or probable AD according to NINCDS-ADRDA diagnostic criteria.

The age of onset of AD was obtained from a knowledgeable family member. All patients were assessed for APOE genotype. History of alcohol and tobacco consumption prior to the onset of dementia was obtained via an interview with the patient and the primary caregiver. A history of heavy drinking was defined as >2 drinks per day and a history of heavy smoking was defined as 1 pack per day.

Presence of an APOE 4 allele, a history of heavy drinking, or a history of heavy smoking were each associated with an earlier onset of AD by 2-3 years. Patients with all three risk factors were likely to be diagnosed with AD nearly 10 years earlier than those with none of the risk factors.

The results suggest that APOE 4 and heavy drinking and heavy smoking lower the age of onset for AD in an additive fashion.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Epidemiologic Trends of Adolescent Use of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

This article provides an overview of drug and alcohol use and risk factors among American adolescents.

Current trends indicate that tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana are the most frequently used substances among this age group.

Further, the greatest risk factors for using these substances are being male, being White, being an older adolescent, engaging in sexual risk behaviors, having a family history of substance abuse, associating with peers who abuse substances, and lacking a sense of school commitment and connectedness.

These findings underscore the need to involve communities, families, schools, and peer groups to effectively prevent and treat this problem.

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Alcohol policy enforcement and changes in student drinking rates in a statewide public college system: a follow-up study

Heavy alcohol use among U.S. college students is a major contributor to young adult morbidity and mortality.

The aim of this study was to examine whether college alcohol policy enforcement levels predict changes in student drinking and related behaviors in a state system of public colleges and universities, following a system-wide change to a stricter policy.

Students and administrators at 11 Massachusetts public colleges/universities completed surveys in 1999 (N of students = 1252), one year after the policy change, and again in 2001 (N = 1074). We calculated policy enforcement scores for each school based on the reports of deans of students, campus security chiefs, and students, and examined the correlations between perceived enforcement levels and the change in student drinking rates over the subsequent two year period, after weighting the 2001 data to adjust for

Overall rates of any past-30-days drinking, heavy episodic drinking, and usual heavy drinking among past-30-days drinkers were all lower in 2001 compared to 1999. School-level analyses (N=11) found deans' baseline reports of stricter enforcement were strongly correlated with subsequent declines in heavy episodic drinking (Pearson's r = -0.73, p=0.011). Moreover, consistently high enforcement levels across time, as reported by deans, were associated with greater declines in heavy episodic drinking. Such relationships were not found for students' and security chiefs' reports of enforcement. Marijuana use did not rise during this period of decline in heavy drinking.

Study findings suggest that stronger enforcement of a stricter alcohol policy may be associated with reductions in student heavy drinking rates over time. An aggressive enforcement stance by deans may be an important element of an effective college alcohol policy.

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Simultaneous injuries to both eyes in traffic accidents

In traffic accidents, eye injuries occur as isolated or with polytrauma. They may involve just one eye, but simultaneous injuries to both eyes do happen occasionally.

The aim of our paper was to reveal the risk factors, in an effort to reduce the number of such accidents and to prevent bilateral ocular damage.

All patients hospitalized at the Clinic of Eye Diseases, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, due to traffic accidents with bilateral eye injuries in a period of 9 years from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2008 were analyzed.

In this 9-year period, a total of 36 patients were hospitalized and treated for bilateral ocular injury (72 eyes). There were 23 males among them, the male-female ratio being 1.8:1. Mean age was 33.9 years. The occupations of injured persons were the following: the most common were workers—15, followed by clerks—seven, while less common were pupils, students, pensioners and housewives—three of each of them, and farmers—two. Front-seat passengers were the most common among the injured—20 (55.6%), then drivers—15 (41.7%), with only one passenger from the back seat on the right side (2.7%). As many as 33 (91.7%) of them failed to fasten their seat belts, while 18 (50.0%) were drunk. Penetrating bulbar injuries or eyeball ruptures were predominant—66.7%, while blunt injuries were found in only two (2.8%) eyes in one single person; but in 22 cases (30.5%) there was adnexal damage, too. Visual acuity at discharge and subsequent controls was as follows: amaurosis in 21 (29.2%), less than 0.3 in nine (5.6%), 0.4 and better in 42 (58.1%), and normal visual acuity of 1.0 in 28 patients (38.3%).

The major risk factors for getting bilateral eye injuries in traffic accidents proved to be: sitting in the front car seats, not fastening the seat belt and alcohol intoxication. Prevention of these risk factors would result in a decrease in such a large number of bilateral eye injuries.

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Are adolescents with high socioeconomic status more likely to engage in alcohol and illicit drug use in early adulthood?

Previous literature has shown a divergence by age in the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and substance use: adolescents with low SES are more likely to engage in substance use, as are adults with high SES. However, there is growing evidence that adolescents with high SES are also at high risk for substance abuse.

The objective of this study is to examine this relationship longitudinally, that is, whether wealthier adolescents are more likely than those with lower SES to engage in substance use in early adulthood.

The study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (AddHealth), a longitudinal, nationally-representative survey of secondary school students in the United States. Logistic regression models were analyzed examining the relationship between adolescent SES (measured by parental education and income) and substance use in adulthood, controlling for substance use in adolescence and other covariates.

Higher parental education is associated with higher rates of binge drinking, marijuana and cocaine use in early adulthood. Higher parental income is associated with higher rates of binge drinking and marijuana use. No statistically significant results are found for crystal methamphetamine or other drug use. Results are not sensitive to the inclusion of college attendance by young adulthood as a sensitivity analysis. However, when stratifying by race, results are consistent for white non-Hispanics, but no statistically significant results are found for non-whites. This may be a reflection of the smaller sample size of non-whites, but may also reflect that these trends are driven primarily by white non-Hispanics.

Previous research shows numerous problems associated with substance use in young adults, including problems in school, decreased employment, increases in convictions of driving under the influence (DUI) and accidental deaths. Much of the previous literature is focused on lower SES populations. Therefore, it is possible that teachers, parents and school administrators in wealthier schools may not perceive as great to address substance abuse treatment in their schools. This study can inform teachers, parents, school administrators and program officials of the need for addressing drug abuse prevention activities to this population of students.

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Have We Bottled It? Alcohol Marketing and Young People Conference

Alcohol is one of the most heavily marketed products on our shelves with a total market value of €6 billion in Ireland this year. Alcohol marketing targets young people and influences their drinking.

Alcohol Action Ireland’s conference sets out to explore the question - have we abdicated responsibility when it comes to controlling alcohol marketing? The conference looks at what alcohol marketing actually is, how it works and what can be done to reduce its impact, particularly on young people.

Have We Bottled It? Alcohol Marketing and Young People Conference
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Venue: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, No 6 Kildare St, Dublin 2
Time: 9.30- 4pm
Costs: Bookings received before 17 August can avail of our special price of €50 per person. Bookings placed after 17 August will be €70 per person.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Polymorphism in GABRA2 Is Associated With the Medial Frontal Response to Alcohol Cues in an fMRI Study

Significant evidence has accumulated to suggest an association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the GABRA2 gene and alcoholism. However, research has yet to show an association between these polymorphisms and the human brain's reward system function.

In this study, we stratified subjects who had participated in an fMRI study of alcohol cue responses according to their genotype at a SNP in GABRA2Edenberg et al., 2004).

Genotyping showed 13 subjects to be homozygous for the high-risk allele (AA), and 23 subjects to be heterozygous (AG). In fMRI, subjects were exposed to the aromas of their preferred alcoholic drink odors (AO), as well as to appetitive control odors (ApCO) under both alcohol intoxication and placebo control conditions.

Homozygous AA subjects had a larger [AO > ApCO] response than did AG subjects in medial frontal cortical areas thought to code reward value. However, AG subjects had a larger [AO > ApCO] effect in the ventral tegmental area. Alcohol intoxication did not alter these group differences.

These are the first data to suggest that GABRA2 genotype could affect the brain's responses to cues associated with alcohol.

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Trends in Alcohol Use among Hawai‘i Adolescents

It is important to review trends in youth alcohol use over time in order to effectively tailor prevention programs to address those trends.

This article reviews data on alcohol use behaviors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Hawai‘i from 1993 to 2007.

Five alcohol use indicators were examined and stratified by grade level, from 9th grade through 12th grade.

Significant drops in nearly all indicators are seen among 9th through 11th graders, but not among 12th graders.

This suggests that Hawai‘i youth are responding well to anti-alcohol messaging as young teens, but a different approach may be needed to target older teens.

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Sex Differences in Striatal Dopamine Release in Young Adults After Oral Alcohol Challenge: A Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Study With [11C]Racl

We used a positron emission tomography paradigm with the D2/3 radiotracer [11C]raclopride and an alcohol challenge to examine the magnitude of alcohol-induced dopamine release and compare it between young men and women.

Twenty-one nonalcohol-dependent young social drinkers completed two positron emission tomography scans on separate days following ingestion of a juice mix containing either ethanol (.75 mg/kg body water) or trace ethanol only. The extent of dopamine released after alcohol was estimated by the percentage difference in [11C]raclopride binding potential (ΔBPND) between days.

Alcohol administration significantly displaced [11C]raclopride in all striatal subregions, indicating dopamine release, with the largest effect observed in the ventral striatum. Linear mixed model analysis across all striatal subregions of regional ΔBPND with region of interest as repeated measure showed a highly significant effect of sex (p < .001). Ventrostriatal dopamine release in men, but not in women, showed a significant positive correlation to alcohol-induced measures of subjective activation. Furthermore, we found a significant negative correlation between the frequency of maximum alcohol consumption per 24 hours and ventrostriatal ΔBPND (r = .739, p = .009) in men.

This study provides definitive evidence that oral alcohol induces dopamine release in nonalcoholic human subjects and shows sex differences in the magnitude of this effect. The ability of alcohol to stimulate dopamine release may contribute to its rewarding effects and, thereby, to its abuse liability in humans. Our report further suggests several biological mechanisms that may mediate the difference in vulnerability for alcoholism between men and women.

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Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs

Preliminary modeling suggests that over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be worth around 8 times the costs. Perhaps two-thirds of these benefits would accrue within the US, with the remainder spilling over to other countries. Hence, the US national benefits arising from the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be of the order of 5 times the costs.

Exploring sensitivities in the model we find that the benefits exceed the costs over a wide range of values. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any plausible values for the input data and model parameters that would lead to a fundamentally different answer.These preliminary estimates are based on the information available to us at the time of writing. They are released in conjunction with an online model, which enables others to explore their own preferred values for the various parameters.

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Alcohol, metabolic risk and elevated serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) in Indigenous Australians

The interaction between overweight/obesity and alcohol intake on liver enzyme concentrations have been demonstrated. No studies have yet examined the interaction between metabolic syndrome or multiple metabolic risk factors and alcohol intake on liver enzymes.

The aim of this study was to examine if alcohol consumption modifies the effect of metabolic risk on elevated serum GGT in Indigenous Australians.

Data were from N=2609 Indigenous Australians who participated in a health screening program in rural far north Queensland in 1999-2000 (44.5% response rate). The individual and interactive effects of metabolic risk and alcohol drinking on elevated serum GGT concentrations ([greater than or equal to] 50 U/L) were analyzed using logistic regression.

Overall, 26% of the population had GGT[greater than or equal to] 50 U/L. Elevated GGT was associated with alcohol drinking (moderate drinking: OR 2.3 [95%CI 1.6 - 3.2]; risky drinking: OR 6.0 [4.4 - 8.2]), and with abdominal obesity (OR 3.7 [2.5 - 5.6]), adverse metabolic risk cluster profile (OR 3.4 [2.6 - 4.3]) and metabolic syndrome (OR 2.7 [2.1 - 3.5]) after adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, smoking, physical activity and BMI. The associations of obesity and metabolic syndrome with elevated GGT were similar across alcohol drinking strata, but the association of an adverse metabolic risk cluster profile with elevated GGT was larger in risky drinkers (OR 4.9 [3.7 - 6.7]) than in moderate drinkers (OR 2.8 [1.6 - 4.9]) and abstainers (OR 1.6 [0.9 - 2.8]).

In this Indigenous population, an adverse metabolic profile conferred three times the risk of elevated GGT in risky drinkers compared with abstainers, independent of sex and ethnicity. Community interventions need to target both determinants of the population's metabolic status and alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of elevated GGT.

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Alcohol research latest reviews, news and updates: July 2010

Mainly from the drug and alcohol Findings database:

Brief alcohol advice works with psychiatric patients: Will brief alcohol advice work with depressed and/or distressed psychiatric patients at risk from their drinking? From Sweden, an affirmative answer from the first study among psychiatric outpatients to test brief alcohol advice against screening alone. Use of a telephone-based intervention was another innovation.

Probation resources too stretched to adequately tackle huge drink problem: Probation services in England and Wales are creatively grappling with a huge and criminogenic offender drink problem, but their efforts are undermined by lack of evidence about what works and by under-resourcing linked to a dispute over whether health or probation should bear the core funding burden.

Matching alcohol treatments to the patient It was the great hope for alcohol treatment: even if overall one type of therapy was as good as another, surely this was just because certain therapies worked best with certain patients. Getting the match right was seen as a key way to advance effectiveness. Despite major setbacks, it remains a fascinating and fertile research topic. See what you make of it by running the hot topic search.

Alcohol licensing, price and taxation: Market levers not available to curb the illicit drugs market promise to make the greatest difference to alcohol-related harm across the population. The prize - an improvement in public health among the largest achievable by any feasible means - is great, but so too are the obstacles. Run the hot topic search to see what we may be missing if we fail to grasp these opportunities. (Current price and taxation review details here

Fuelling the problem? The sale of alcohol at petrol stations in Wales: An Alcohol Concern survey of petrol stations in eight counties in Wales in May 2010 found that 33 per sold alcohol, a figure that corresponds to previous research undertaken in England and Wales. The survey also highlighted that training for staff on selling alcohol was not consistent. Follow the above link for Alcohol Concern's 5 policy recommendations.

Uganda still leads in alcohol consumption

Uganda has maintained the lead in consumption of harmful alcohol in Africa, experts have revealed. Dr Nazarius Mbona, a senior lecturer at Makerere University Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, said Uganda’s per capita consumption of alcohol is 19 litres per year compared to an average four litres in other African countries.

“Although alcohol consumption rate is lowering here now, we are still ranked the highest,” Dr Mbona said. > > >

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reviewers' Bias Against the Null Hypothesis: the Reproductive Hazard of Binge Drinking

We examined whether scientific reviewers exhibit bias in scoring a simulated “positive” study (i.e. showing adverse fetal effects) as compared to a simulated “negative” study on the fetal effects of binge drinking.

The reviewers of the “negative” study tended to reject it more commonly, to give it lower scores, and there was significantly more variability from the median in their scores.

Scientific journals should make an effort to eliminate this source of bias against negative results.

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Breast Cancer DNA Methylation Profiles Are Associated with Tumor Size and Alcohol and Folate Intake

Although tumor size and lymph node involvement are the current cornerstones of breast cancer prognosis, they have not been extensively explored in relation to tumor methylation attributes in conjunction with other tumor and patient dietary and hormonal characteristics.

Using primary breast tumors from 162 (AJCC stage I–IV) women from the Kaiser Division of Research Pathways Study and the Illumina GoldenGate methylation bead-array platform, we measured 1,413 autosomal CpG loci associated with 773 cancer-related genes and validated select CpG loci with Sequenom EpiTYPER.

Tumor grade, size, estrogen and progesterone receptor status, and triple negative status were significantly associated with altered methylation of 209, 74, 183, 69, and 130 loci, respectively.

Unsupervised clustering, using a recursively partitioned mixture model (RPMM), of all autosomal CpG loci revealed eight distinct methylation classes.

Methylation class membership was significantly associated with patient race.

Using multinomial logistic regression to adjust for potential confounders, patient age and tumor size, as well as known disease risk factors of alcohol intake and total dietary folate, were all significantly associated with methylation class membership.

Breast cancer prognostic characteristics and risk-related exposures appear to be associated with gene-specific tumor methylation, as well as overall methylation patterns.

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Effects of a Brief Intervention for Reducing Violence and Alcohol Misuse Among Adolescents A Randomized Controlled Trial

Emergency department (ED) visits present an opportunity to deliver brief interventions to reduce violence and alcohol misuse among urban adolescents at risk of future injury.

To determine the efficacy of brief interventions addressing violence and alcohol use among adolescents presenting to an urban ED.

Between September 2006 and September 2009, 3338 patients aged 14 to 18 years presenting to a level I ED in Flint, Michigan, between 12 PM and 11 PM 7 days a week completed a computerized survey (43.5% male; 55.9% African American). Adolescents reporting past-year alcohol use and aggression were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial (SafERteens).

All patients underwent a computerized baseline assessment and were randomized to a control group that received a brochure (n = 235) or a 35-minute brief intervention delivered by either a computer (n = 237) or therapist (n = 254) in the ED, with follow-up assessments at 3 and 6 months. Combining motivational interviewing with skills training, the brief intervention for violence and alcohol included review of goals, tailored feedback, decisional balance exercise, role plays, and referrals.

Self-report measures included peer aggression and violence, violence consequences, alcohol use, binge drinking, and alcohol consequences.

About 25% (n = 829) of screened patients had positive results for both alcohol and violence; 726 were randomized. Compared with controls, participants in the therapist intervention showed self-reported reductions in the occurrence of peer aggression (therapist, –34.3%; control, –16.4%; relative risk [RR], 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61-0.90), experience of peer violence (therapist, –10.4%; control, +4.7%; RR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.52-0.95), and violence consequences (therapist, –30.4%; control, –13.0%; RR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.64-0.90) at 3 months. At 6 months, participants in the therapist intervention showed self-reported reductions in alcohol consequences (therapist, –32.2%; control, –17.7%; odds ratio, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.34-0.91) compared with controls; participants in the computer intervention also showed self-reported reductions in alcohol consequences (computer, –29.1%; control, –17.7%; odds ratio, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.34-0.95).

Among adolescents identified in the ED with self-reported alcohol use and aggression, a brief intervention resulted in a decrease in the prevalence of self-reported aggression and alcohol consequences.

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Diverging trends in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm in Victoria

To examine recent trends in alcohol-related harm and risky drinking in Victoria, Australia.

The study compiled eight measures of alcohol-related harm from published and unpublished sources, covering data relating to health, crime, alcohol treatment and traffic crashes for the financial years 1999/2000 to 2007/08. In addition, published estimates of short and long-term risky drinking from three-sets of surveys between 2001 and 2007 were examined.

Six of the eight harm indicators substantially increased, while only alcohol-related mortality and single-vehicle night-time crashes remained relatively stable. In particular, rates of emergency presentations for intoxication and alcohol-related ambulance attendances increased dramatically. Contrastingly, survey-derived estimates of the rate of risky-drinking among Victorians were stable over the time-period examined.

Evidence across the data examined suggests significant increases in alcohol-related harm taking place during a period of relatively stable alcohol consumption levels. This disparity may be accounted for by changing drinking patterns among small, high-risk, subgroups of the population.

The sharply increasing rates of alcohol-related harm among Victorians suggest that changes to alcohol policies focusing on improving public health are necessary.

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The relationship between alcohol supply source and young people's risky drinking and alcohol-related problem behaviours in Victoria, Australia

To determine whether source of alcohol supply is related to adolescent underage drinkers' reports of risky drinking and alcohol-related problem behaviours.

In 2003/04, a cross-sectional survey of 2,644 16–17 year-olds were recruited from Victorian households and surveyed by phone as part of the Victorian Youth Alcohol and Drug Survey. The results were analysed to determine whether alcohol supply source was associated with weekly or more frequent risky single occasion drinking (RSOD) and reports of alcohol-related problem behaviours.

Around 20% (524/2,644) of the sample reported weekly RSOD and 34% (904/2,644) of the sample reported engaging in at least one alcohol-related problem behaviour. These outcomes were associated with reported usual source of alcohol supply, with reports of alcohol sources in addition to parents alone more than twice as likely to be accompanied by reports of RSOD (OR=2.53, 95%CI=1.85–3.46) and/or problem behaviours (OR=2.16, 95%CI=1.64–2.84), compared to when adolescents reported parents as their sole source of alcohol. Reports of alcohol supply only from sources other than parents were similarly more than twice as likely to be accompanied by reports of RSOD (OR=2.27, 95% CI=1.74–2.95) and/or problem behaviours (OR=2.27, 95%CI=1.82–2.82) compared to compared to parental supply alone.

The rate at which older adolescents report RSOD and alcohol-related problem behaviour is increased when they obtain alcohol from sources other than their parents. Parents need to be equipped with strategies for managing the supply of alcohol to adolescents.

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How much is too much? Alcohol consumption and related harm in the Northern Territory

To present recent estimates of alcohol consumption and its impact on the health of people in the Northern Territory, and to draw comparisons with Australia as a whole.

Descriptive study of alcohol consumption in the NT population, based on sales data and self-report surveys, and alcohol-attributable deaths and hospitalisations among people in the NT in the 2004–05 and 2005–06 financial years using population alcohol-attributable fractions specific to the NT.

Per capita consumption of pure alcohol, self-reported level of consumption, and age-standardised rates of death and hospitalisation attributable to alcohol.

Apparent per capita consumption of pure alcohol for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations in the NT has been about 14 litres or more per year for many years, about 50% higher than for Australia as a whole. We estimated that there were 120 and 119 alcohol-attributable deaths in the NT in 2004–05 and 2005–06, respectively, at corresponding age-standardised rates of 7.2 and 7.8 per 10 000 adult population. Alcohol-attributable deaths occur in the NT at about 3.5 times the rate they do in Australia generally; rates in non-Aboriginal people were about double the national rate, while they were 9–10 times higher in Aboriginal people. There were 2319 and 2544 alcohol-attributable hospitalisations in the NT in 2004–05 and 2005–06, respectively, at corresponding rates of 146.6 and 157.7 per 10 000 population (more than twice the national rate).

In recent years, alcohol consumption and consequent alcohol-attributable deaths and hospitalisations for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the NT have occurred at levels far higher than elsewhere in Australia.

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The burden of alcohol drinking on co-workers in the Australian workplace

To estimate the cost of the extra time worked by Australian workers due to their co-workers’ alcohol drinking.

A secondary analysis of data obtained from 1677 Australian workers aged 18 years or older collected as part of a broader national study into the third-party harms of alcohol. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted between October and mid December 2008.

Self-reported measures of the time spent covering for other people at work because of their alcohol drinking; measures of other impacts from co-workers’ alcohol drinking; and self-reported income.

Around a third of Australian workers have experienced negative effects from their co-workers’ alcohol drinking, with 3.5% of workers reporting having to work extra hours to cover for others. The total annual cost to the Australian economy of this extra work is estimated to be $453 million.

The results of this study suggest that Australian workers are significantly affected by other people’s alcohol drinking, at considerable cost. This finding highlights the significant cost to the workplace of alcohol consumption, extending previous work which has focused only on alcohol-related absenteeism.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Jail problem drinkers for 24 hours, says senior Tory

A senior Tory has urged the government to jail problem drinkers for 24 hours if they fail to pass a compulsory twice-daily sobriety test.

The coalition is due to publish a white paper on rehabilitation for drink and drugs in the autumn.

Kit Malthouse, the influential Conservative deputy mayor for London policing, is proposing that the government follow the example of a successful 24-hour scheme in South Dakota. > > > > >

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Alcohol News - 31/2010

Weekly newsletter of Alcohol News and Articles around the world. By Lauri Beekmann - Estonia.

My Fox Boston (USA) - Number of Americans Drinking Alcohol Hits 25-Year High
The number of adults in the U.S. drinking alcohol has hit a 25-year high, the New York Daily News reported Sunday, as the nation continues to experience economic instability.

Daily Mail (UK) - 50p a unit: City centre first to establish minimum alcohol sale price to combat drunkeness
A city centre is set to become the first in Britain to set a minimum price for the sale of alcohol in a bid to target binge-drinking.

The First Reporter (Australia) - Alcohol Costs Australian Economy $400 million
A modern example of how alcohol is costing the economy is Australia. As per a study, sober colleagues of alcoholics in Australia have to do all the extra work in order to cover up the absence of their heavy drinker friends and this is costing the Australian economy about $400 million per year or more. - Epigenetics of breast cancer possibly alter by diet and alcohol
Currently the most general non-skin cancer among American women seems to be breast cancer. Nevertheless novel discoveries have helped increase the number of breast cancer survivors. (Canada) - Ont. young drivers face alcohol ban
Ontario’s new zero blood-alcohol level policy for young drivers takes effect at midnight Saturday.

Scottish Daily Record (Scotland) - Labour: The SNP are letting Scottish kids down in alcohol education
THE Scottish government are failing to warn pupils properly about the dangers of alcohol, Labour claim. The party's health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the SNP have broken a manifesto promise to ensure all councils have a booze education programme.

New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) – Nearly half of road deaths involve drugs, alcohol
Nearly half of drivers who die in road crashes have alcohol and/or drugs in their system, according to an Environment, Science and Research (ESR) report.

New York Times (USA) – The Rich Drink More
The rich aren’t like you and me. They drink more. At least, upper-income Americans are more likely to report that they consume alcohol, according to a new Gallup survey.

7thSpace Interactive (China) - Study focuses on alcohol consumption and agriculture-related injuries in China
As a collaboration of the Colorado Injury Control Research Center, the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the School of Public Heath, Tongji Medical College at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the USA-China Agricultural Injury Research Training Project was created in 2004.

MedIndia (Australia) - Study Links Personality Traits to Mental Illness, Alcohol Usage in Doctors
Certain personality traits, demographic and work related factors increase the likelihood that doctors will develop mental illness or hazardous alcohol habits according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Barents Observer (Russia) - Murmansk bans sale of vodka after 9pm
Murmansk Oblast imposes new restrictions on sale of strong liquors. Retail sale of alcoholic beverages stronger than 15 percent will only be allowed between 11am and 9pm.

The Publican (UK) - 'All-day drink law was a mistake, says police chief'
The 24-hour drink licensing laws were a "mistake", Association of Chief Police Officers president Sir Hugh Orde says.

AFP (Netherlands) - Dutch clinic helps alcoholics by "binding them with beer'
Alcoholic Janetta van Bruggen settles comfortably into a clinic chair, lights a cigarette and takes a supervised swig from a tall, frosted mug -- her sixth beer since breakfast.

IceNews (Finland) - Dry-out clinics expecting an end-of-summer rush
Rehab centres in Finland are bracing themselves for an increased workload next month, as summer drinkers attempt to dry out before returning to work. (Bulgaria) - 'Alcohol Tourism' Said to Dominate Bulgaria's Southern Black Sea Coast
An increasing number of foreigners and Bulgarians alike are engaging in what has been described as “alcohol tourism” in the numerous resorts along the country’s Southern Black Sea coast.

YLE News (Finland) - Finnish Alcohol Consumption Risk Levels "Too High"
The risk levels of alcohol consumption are higher in Finland than in many other countries. For example, in the United States, the limit of safe alcohol intake is almost half of that in Finland. Alcohol related diseases remain a significant cause of mortality in Finland.

KAP Keys for Clinicians Based on TIP 49: Incorporating Alcohol Pharmacotherapies Into Medical Practice

This set of KAP Keys for clinicians based on Treatment Improvement Protocol 49 provides a series of quick-reference cards with information about each of the four Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for treating alcohol use disorders (acamprosate, disulfiram, oral naltrexone, and extended-release injectable naltrexone) as well as concise information regarding patient management.

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U.S. Drinking Rate Edges Up Slightly to 25-Year High

Sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults drink alcohol, a slight increase over last year and the highest reading recorded since 1985 by one percentage point. Beer remains the favorite beverage among drinkers, followed by wine and then liquor.

Despite some yearly fluctuations, the percentage of Americans who say they drink alcohol has been remarkably stable over Gallup's 71 years of tracking it. The high point for drinking came in 1976-1978, when 71% said they drank alcohol.

The low of 55% was recorded in 1958. When Gallup first asked Americans about drinking, in the waning days of the Great Depression in 1939, 58% of adults said they were drinkers.

A majority of Americans in most demographic subgroups of the population drink, though in some groups drinking is more prevalent than in others. One of the most significant predictors of alcohol consumption is church attendance. Those who seldom or never attend church are substantially more likely than more frequent church attenders to say they drink; and those who have no religious identity, Catholics, and non-Christians are more likely to drink than Protestants.

Medical research shows that moderate drinking is associated with a lower probability of heart trouble, and Gallup has recently confirmed that the incidence of heart attacks increases substantially with age. Still, the data indicate that many older Americans are not taking advantage of the prophylactic benefit of drinking; 59% of older Americans drink alcohol, substantially lower than the percentages among those who are younger. Additionally, those with the lowest education levels and lowest incomes are less likely to drink than others. > > > >

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Celebrating 40 Years of Alcohol Research Volume 33, Number 1 & 2, 2010

1 In This Issue [PDF]


NIAAA: Advancing Alcohol Research for 40 Years [PDF]
Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., and Brenda G. Hewitt


Preventing Alcohol-Related Problems Through Health Policy Research [PDF]
Robert B. Voas, Ph.D., and James C. Fell, M.S.


Reducing Underage and Young Adult Drinking: How to Address Critical Drinking Problems During This Developmental Period [PDF]
Michael Windle, Ph.D., and Robert A. Zucker, Ph.D.


Focus on: College Drinking and Related Problems
Magnitude and Prevention of College Drinking and Related Problems
Ralph W. Hingson, SC.D., M.P.H.

55 The Past and Future of Research on Treatment of Alcohol Dependence [PDF]
Mark L. Willenbring, M.D.
64 Genetic Research: Who Is At Risk for Alcoholism? [PDF]
Tatiana Foroud, Ph.D.; Howard J. Edenberg, Ph.D.; and John C. Crabbe, Ph.D.
SPECIAL SECTION: Alcohol and Health

Focus On: The Cardiovascular System— What Did We Learn From the French (Paradox)? [PDF]
Daria Mochly-Rosen, Ph.D., and Samir Zakhari, Ph.DF


Focus On: Alcohol and the Liver [PDF]
Gyongyi Szabo, M.D., Ph.D., and Pranoti Mandrekar, Ph.D.


Focus On: Alcohol and the Immune SystemPDF]
Patricia E. Molina, M.D., Ph.D.; Kyle I. Happel, M.D.; Ping Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.; Jay K. Kolls, M.D.; and Steve Nelson, M.D.


Focus On: Comorbid Mental Health Disorders [PDF]
Robert M. Anthenelli, M.D.

118 Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: From Research to Policy [PDF]
Jennifer D. Thomas, Ph.D.; Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D.; and Brenda G. Hewitt
127 Edith V. Sullivan, Ph.D.; R. Adron Harris, Ph.D.; and Adolf Pfefferbaum, M.D.

Focus On: Neuroscience and Treatment
The Potential of Neuroscience to Inform Treatment
George F. Koob, Ph.D.

152 Ethnicity and Health Disparities in Alcohol Research [PDF]
Karen Chartier, M.S.W., Ph.D., and Raul Caetano, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.